De Anza students march against college sexual assault


Pati Shojaee, Staff Writer

A group of De Anza students gathered with mattresses to spread awareness of sexual assault on Wednesday Oct. 29, inspired by a project called “Carry That Weight.”

“We decided to take action and a stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual and domestic violence,”said Karla Navarro, 22, art major and one of the organizers of the event. “Sexual and domestic violence happens to everyone – not just women. It happens to queer people, people of color, transgender people, and males too. No matter how people identify rape culture hurts everyone and anyone.”

Since being raped her first day of sophomore year at Columbia University, Emma Sulkowicz said she has tried in vain to convince police and college administrators that she was raped and that her rapist deserves to be punished.

Now a senior majoring in liberal arts, Sulkowicz has created a substantial performance art piece as her senior thesis.

She will carry the dorm room mattress that she was raped on with her everywhere to represent the weight that she must carry every day from attending the same school as her rapist.

She named the project, “Carry That Weight.”

The piece has spread throughout the U.S. and colleges everywhere are showing their support for Sulkowicz by conducting a similar project.

“Of course we know that women are not the only ones who are affected by rape and sexual assault,” said protestor Yiann Chou, 18, history major.

“Male victims are totally affected by this too, but in general they are probably more likely to get sympathy and here is a reason why women are more common victims” Chou said. “It’s because our culture sets it up so that women are seen as objects and men are seen as entitled to sexual gratification.”

Protester Jaymar Hardesty, 20, undecided major, said, “As a male, I feel ashamed that my friends or anyone I know could do something like that and I think that in order for this to start changing we need to actually start educating our youth and people about this. It shouldn’t be something that should be kept silent.”